8 Crazy Things You Didn’t Know About Amsterdam

We all already know that Amsterdam is awesome, but there are tons of pretty mind blowing facts about the city that we’re sure you never knew about before. Next time you visit, keep these unbelievable facts about Amsterdam on your mind to show off to other travellers or even help plan your itinerary. From how to get a free lift, to eating with locals and getting the low-down from retired sex workers, Amsterdam’s secrets and hidden gems could make your trip even more insane. Get a load of these…

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1 Take a tour with retired sex workers

Twin sisters Martine and Louise Fokkens were sex workers in the Red Light District for over 50 years. Where else in the world would you be able to get a tour from a pair of twin ex-prostitutes?! Find out more about the history of the Red Light District, hear secret and funny stories straight from the Fokkens’ and get all the dirty details of being a sex worker in Amsterdam. Nab the opportunity, you must have tons of questions because we definitely do.

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2 It’s home to the world’s first condomerie

The Condomerie was founded in 1987 and is now a pretty big tourist attraction in Amsterdam. What most people don’t know or forget is that it was actually the very first specialised condom shop to have opened EVER. Were you aware that the pregnancy rate amongst teenagers in the Netherlands is lower than anywhere else in the world? It all makes perfect sense.

3 Bikes outnumber people

Apparently there are about 30,000 more bikes than people in Amsterdam.

4 The floating flower market is the one and only in the world

Sitting on the Singel canal in between Koningsplein and the Muntplein, find the world’s only floating flower market and one of the most eye-popping spots in Amsterdam. Since 1862 the market has been trading flowers of all sorts from tulips to narcissus, geraniums and way more. You’re not gonna see a market like it anywhere else, so if you like a good camera opportunity, you’d better get going.

5 So is the floating cat shelter

Even more random than a floating flower market is the world’s only floating cat shelter on Amsterdam’s canal. De Poezenboot or ‘The Cat Boat’ is home to up to 50 cats at once and 14 of them live there permanently. Visitors are welcome to visit and play with these friendly felines too, so cat lovers, write this down.

6 Go to a local’s house or Huiskamerrestaurant for dinner

Get a taste of proper local Dutch cuisine cooked up by regular home cooks in their family house. At these huiskamerrestaurants (living room restaurants), you have to pre-book a seat and pay a few euro, but it’s worth it to experience a delicious home-cooked meal that’s as authentic as it gets (although you can get some super gourmet huiskamerrestaurants). You get a tasty dinner with friendly company, and they get to show of their cooking skills to visitors from the comfort of their own kitchen!

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7 Shout ‘backie’ for a free lift on a bike

Only in Amsterdam could you get a lift wherever you want to go in the city on the back of a stranger’s bike by yelling “backie”. Shout this word and if a local riding a bike hears you, and they have a yellow rack on the back wheel, you can get a free lift to anywhere.

8 Amsterdam is capital of the Netherlands but not of North Holland

Dam is the biggest city in the country, but in North Holland, the capital is Haarlem which is pretty much Amsterdam’s neighbour.

Check out the Best Photo Spots in Amsterdam in Winter

Article by Darcy King